Kicking tires before purchase, HEV vs PHEV questions - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Kicking tires before purchase, HEV vs PHEV questions

I have some very specific questions regarding the difference between HEV & PHEV to help me decide which version would be best for us. I would be especially useful to have responses from anyone who has had both versions.

I am torn between the two and wondering if for my specific application the PHEV will provide significant gas savings over the HEV. While I might fiddle with the modes to try to maximize efficiency, my wife, who will be using the car the most, will just get in and drive -- not interesting in fiddling!

1. I live in Seattle. Winter temps are typically 40- 50 F. Assume I start car and go with no warm up & I drive 9 miles one way in stop and go traffic: My understanding is that the ICE engine is going to run for a while to provide cabin heat, so even though the PHEV can go 20+ miles on battery only, I assume it won't in cool weather when we want to heat the cabin. About how long before the car will actually start to warm up cabin.

2. Same assumptions as above. About what percentage of improvement of gas usage am I likely to see from the PHEV over the HEV

3. What differences, if any are there between ride on undulating, rough, irregular pavement and cornering between the HEV & PHEV?

Thanks for reading and responding to this long post.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 07:48 PM
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1. The car actually WILL provide heat while in EV mode. It does so by disconnecting the engine from the drivetrain, and "idling" the engine while you're driving. The car is still being driven by 100% EV power in this case, the engine is only running to give you cabin heat. It will consume gas and affect your MPG, of course, but you'll still get better MPG overall versus an HEV, because the engine isn't working very hard. It also only runs the engine when the engine is cold - once it gets warm, it shuts the engine off automatically and continues heating the cabin with the residual engine heat. You can expect ~24 miles of EV propulsion while using the heater.It doesn't take long for the heater to start blowing warm air - maybe 2 or 3 minutes at the most. It's a tiny engine, so it warms up quite quickly.


2. Using your assumption of 18 miles of driving per day, assuming you are able to plug the car in every night, your MPG will be infinitely better than an HEV. You'll probably consume close to zero fuel during the more temperate seasons, and barely any in the winter as well (just enough to keep the cabin warm, and that's it). The only time an HEV is going to geet better fuel economy is during long (150+ mile) drives, or when you don't get to charge the battery very often. For example, if you can only charge the battery once a week, then you'd probably be better off with the HEV. Or if you drive over 150 miles every day, then an HEV might be better. Otherwise, the PHEV will almost certainly get significantly better gas mileage. Some people who don't drive far every day, and get to charge every night, have reported putting several thousand miles on their PHEV without buying any fuel.


3. No difference, really. The PHEV has about 200lbs of extra "luggage" in the trunk - so it basically drives as if you had an extra passenger in the backseat. In other words, probably not noticeably different. The suspension and everything is identical between the HEV and PHEV, the only difference is the heavier battery. Acceleration is about the same - the PHEV is heavier, but it has a torquier electric motor to make up for it.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 07:51 PM
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One other note, since you mentioned your wife won't be fiddling with the drive mode settings:

The PHEV will always default to EV drive mode when there is 1 or more miles worth of EV charge available to use. Then, when it runs out of EV-only charge, it automatically reverts itself back to HEV mode. Then if you plug it in and earn more EV miles, it defaults back to EV drive mode.

It's pretty seamless, the car really doesn't need the driver to fiddle with anything in order to get good fuel economy. Some of us just like fiddling with with it But you really don't need to.

One last note:

while driving in EV mode, if you press the gas pedal more than about 2/3rds of the way, it will temporarily activate HEV mode and power the car with both electric and gas motors, for maximum horsepower. As soon as you let off the gas, it goes back to EV-only mode.

So you don't need to worry about being in a situation where you need horsepower but forgot to take the car out of EV mode - the full power of the gas+electric drivetrain is ALWAYS available if you need it, by just being more aggressive with the gas pedal.
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Last edited by cockedandglocked; 01-24-2019 at 07:58 PM.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 08:07 PM
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For what it's worth - I drive 80 miles per weekday, and charge my car about once every two weekdays (because sometimes I can't park close enough to my garage for the cord to reach).


So basically I get 26 EV-only miles out of every 160 miles of driving I do.


Given those circumstances, I get about 58mpg on average. An HEV typically gets about 50.


I would get about 65mpg if I were able to charge every day. And I would get about 75mpg if I only drove 60 miles per day instead of 80. The MPG obviously goes higher and higher from there, the more often you charge and the less distance you drive your car between charges.

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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 11:03 PM
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I'm in Seattle too and drive 15 miles one way to work. Here's my experience with the PHEV to give you an idea in the current 40 to 50ish degree weather:

If traffic is slow I can usually make it the full 30 miles round trip in EV (going slow and stop & go traffic help the EV efficiency). If I get to work at times with less traffic I usually make it 26 or 27 miles EV and the last few miles in HEV.

I charge every night. Starting in December I went 1,372 miles over 37 days before I had to fill the tank. That cost a little less than $30 in electricity (at about 12ish cents per kwh) and $32 in gas for a total of $62. In my 07 mazda 3 that would've cost about $180 or $190 in gas so I'm happy I'm also happy about the time saving of not having to fill up at a gas station once week especially after a long work day.
December included some 26+ mile trips over the holidays so the car went into HEV mode some. I do wish the car told you how many HEV vs EV miles you drove.

Heat-wise I bought a 12v heated blanket off amazon for about 20 bucks. I use it plus heated seats to minimize heater usage which keeps me toasty. On colder mornings I'll turn on the heater between 67 to 69 and put it to windshield defrost on low fan speed. That minimizes ICE run time and makes the air more comfortable. If I'm warm enough I'll lower it to 66ish and keep the fan at low speed just to keep the windshield fog-free especially when it rains.

Just my experience... Hope that helps!

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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-24-2019, 11:59 PM
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Hi @Dovidan ,

I have a PHEV model too. Since cockedandglocked has given you the major highlight of the PHEV, i will not re-write the same aspect and details of the vehicule. BUT since i drove for 5 months an HEV model before i got the PHEV in december, here are my tought on the HEV. ** please note that i had the HEV from May to December of 2018**


1- The HEV also starts like the PHEV.. that means on the EV mode. If the battery has enough charge at start-up, it can take you on EV mode till you make 1 or 2 stops. After, the ICE will start and recharge the battery.

If its gets a little colder like: 5c (41F) and minus, the ICE starts right away to heat up the engine that is cold like all normal cars. The main disapointment, is that if you do 9 miles to go to work (18 both ways), the ICE will run all the way because the engine will not warm up the cabin fast enough. That was my major point for changing too a PHEV model.

My reality, is that i do 4km (2.4 miles) to go to work and same thing back home. my 8km per day can be made on the EV mode all the way.. Now since i got my PHEV in december, i cannot get the same results that i had in the summer because of the cold weather and the heating in the cabin.! So, i have tried on my second week a full EV ride to work and back without any heat exept the heated seats and steering (thank god for this invention hahahha). i did my 42km (26 miles) on one full charge in 3 and days instead of my calculated 5 days.. Then the HEV mode started up the ICE...



2- On the HEV model, i would do in the summer time 890 to 975 km (553 to 605 miles) on a full tank. i would last 4-5 weeks before fueling again!

For the PHEV, on my first fuel tank (Jan 7), i did 1700km (1056 miles) and took ~ 20 recharging sessions... it gived me an impressive 2.4L/100km (more than 94 miles per gallon). That is very impressing..! As we speak, i am still on my second tank.



3- What differences is there between the HEV & PHEV? The HEV has a 43hp electric motor and the PHEV, 60hp.. combined with a 104hp ICE engine. on the PHEV, you can feel the torque when on an acceleration, and even more on sport mode if needed. You do not have on a HEV model, a EV/HEV button like in the PHEV too change from one to the other..


4- My conclusion, if your commute is 18 miles a day.. I would go with the PHEV 100%.. Yes, the PDSF is more than a HEV, but with a 26 miles battery range, if you can charge it often, and make a good mpg with it, you will not regret it.. I did not.!


Hope you will make your best choice.! feel free too ask us more question !

Eric, The Canadian Guy !!


Kia Niro 2019 - PHEV SX - Snow White Pearl (13000 km)

Kia Niro 2018 - HEV EX 9000 km - Ocean Blue (Deep Cerulean) 6 months of pure pleasure.!!!



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Last edited by lafe005; 01-25-2019 at 12:02 AM.
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinypocket View Post
I do wish the car told you how many HEV vs EV miles you drove.
Hi Tinypocket, Oh Yes, i wish we had this option for a better calculation... that really sucks!

Eric, The Canadian Guy !!


Kia Niro 2019 - PHEV SX - Snow White Pearl (13000 km)

Kia Niro 2018 - HEV EX 9000 km - Ocean Blue (Deep Cerulean) 6 months of pure pleasure.!!!



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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 09:46 AM
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One other note on the PHEV, the 26 miles battery range is actually what the car really gets, in my experience. And strangely, it doesn't seem to vary at all with your driving style. I get pretty much exacly 26 miles (+/- 1 mile) every time, regardless of whether I'm "hypermiling" the car or driving fairly aggressively. It's nice that Kia gave us a real-world figure for the EV range, and not some unrealistic number that would really be 25% lower for most people. You can really expect to get the full 26 miles on every charge. Some people even report getting 30+, but I think my range has never varied outside the range of 25-27.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 01:19 PM
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A couple of added thoughts - I have a 2018 PHEV. It drives me nuts that the ICE will turn on to provide heat, so I usually drive with heated seats and heated steering wheel on and Climate off. I drive 16 miles each way to work, and I can charge at work for free. So, I can't remember how to open the fuel door! Given your situation, I would go with the PHEV and don't forget the tax credit of $4,543 (I think) which you will not get with the HEV.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 03:21 PM
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To date we have a good deal of reliable information available to us about the upcoming release of the Niro BEV. But even last July when I purchased our 2018 PHEV I had enough consumer information available to make a decision about which version of the Niro would be best for us. I have a round trip of 8 miles per day commuting to work and that includes going home for lunch. I'm able to get 3 days out of a full charge most weeks and if I don't do any significant driving on weekends, a full charge carries over into the next workweek. For me the PHEV is the perfect fit for our lifestyle. I've purchased one full tank of gas in almost 7 months now - the dealer provided the first fill-up. I only use gas on shopping trips outside our rural community every few months. Living in a mild winter climate in western WA, I'm able to go without heat for my 5 minute commute by just heating my driver's seat. I'm able to use only unheated air to clear the windshield and even then, only using the fan for about 30 seconds. By now I have it down to a science in an effort to avoid using gas apart from the semi-monthly shopping trips. But every once and awhile when my wife and I take a three mile trip into our small town for dinner, she'll insist we put the heat on like "normal" people do and the gas engine will kick on and with that my gas-less streak is over. I think she enjoys it because she knows it's a thing for me now. The Niro PHEV is the most perfect fit vehicle for our lifestyle since we owned a minivan when we had 3 teenage sons growing up. How great is it to have 3 different versions of the Niro to choose from to suit our specific lifestyles?
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